letter from the EDITOR
I recently read Jedidiah Jenkins’ memoir, “To Shake the
Sleeping Self,” a sweeping, honest retelling of his adventures
traveling via bicycle from Oregon to Patagonia. In the first
chapter, he writes: “Travel has a way of shaking the brain
I always find that to be true when I travel. Each time I visit a
new place, meet new people, experience a new cuisine and
weather and wildlife, it seems as if my spirit has come anew once
again. Not that it was ever lost, just maybe in hiding.
In July, I had my own adventure on a bicycle, though it wasn’t
nearly as extensive as Jenkins’ mega-trip. I love my house in
Marietta, but after months of quarantine and working from home,
a restless spirit gets, well, restless. So I found a dog-friendly
Airbnb in downtown Savannah with a quiet room and free WiFi,
packed up Norman and Penelope and hit the road.
While I was there, I was looking for nearby places to explore
on my downtime and remembered Cumberland Island. Always up
for an adventure – especially on a beautiful, remote island - I
booked the tickets and the next morning, I was off.
The ferry to the island was quiet and breezy. After we landed,
I rented a bicycle from one of the workers on the island because I
knew I could cover more ground on bike than on foot. After a few
hours of enjoying the beauty of an island forest, wild horses, a
mansion in ruins and a beach void of tiki bars and giant hotels, I
came upon a couple who was walking toward me at a fork in the
They studied me, my bike and my steady pace. They then
raised their heads and started to open their mouths, the way
people do when they are about to speak, so I slowed.
“Did you just come from the ruins?” they asked.
“Yes, I did. Need some help?”
“Well, we were just wondering what was down this path,
where you’re heading.”
I smiled, and said, “Actually, I don’t know. I should probably
open my map.”
They laughed and replied, “No, it’s OK. We have ours, we just
thought you might know where you were going.”
The truth was, I didn’t. And that’s just where I needed to be.
Exploring, allowing the island to take me where I didn’t know I
needed to go, with a map at my side just in case I felt lost.
That’s how life seems to be, for me, at least. I can try to make
plans, set goals, make certain things happen in my life but I don’t
really, truly know where I’m going. While I was there, I could have
been mauled by a wild horse, or met the love of my life, or missed
the ferry back and found myself spending the night on the island.
Every minute, every moment, every decision or non-decision
can change us and, while sometimes scary, that’s also the beauty of
life. All we can do is get back up on our bikes, look at a map if we
need to and just find a way to shake the brain awake.
Read more about
on page 34.
8 COBB LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020